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The Jindal Challenge: Louisiana Is My Home
Written by  // Friday, 26 August 2011 15:42 //

As we quickly approach Labor Day, it is time to reflect upon whom we want to lead us over the next four years.

 Labor Day is normally one of the major milestones whenever there is a Fall Louisiana election.  Some politicians believe that prior to then, the voters are not focused upon elections and only begin to wake up from their political slumber on Labor Day with the real amphetamine kicking a few weeks before the election day.

As of now, it appears that Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal is the prohibitive favorite and could be essentially unopposed.  There is some talk that Senator Marioneaux will jump into the race for Governor.  Should that occur, perhaps we focus more on the state’s future.  Certainly there will be other competitive elections—at least for Secretary of State and Lt. Governor—but in the overall scheme of things, those races are traditionally yawners.   Should Jindal not receive a real contest, Louisiana will know they are hosting an election, but in the real gist of things, most of us really don’t give a hill of campaign signs who is elected Secretary of State or Lieutenant Governor?

The unfortunate truth is it appears most of us in Louisiana do not even know who is the current Lt. Governor or Secretary of State.  Those offices are generally not important to the average citizen. 

However, it is possible that this year might be different, but don’t count on it.

Why do I say this?  Because many of us believe this election is a prelude to the next administration.  Not the one starting in 2016, but the post-Jindal Administration occurring sometime between this upcoming January and the January of 2016. I believe if you ask most people on the streets, especially those who frequent the political hobnobs and events, the majority of those people will say they do not expect Governor Jindal to last through his second four year term.

Thus, and I am sure you have heard it over and over, the Lt. Governor’s Race this fall is really about who takes over for the current Governor once his job assignment changes.

Plus, the Secretary of State race is not really about who will be the Secretary for this entire term, but, who might be the Treasurer or the next Lt. Governor should or shall I say--when a vacancy arises within the next four years, starting with a change at the head of the helm.

Some suspect that if a Republican takes over as President in 2013, Jindal will be on the short list for a cabinet position or a plum national spot. Others believe that once Jindal wins re-election, he will immediately make moves to compete against Senator Mary Landrieu.

I know that I will hear complaints from some Bobby Jindal supporter who will say that my comments are unfair, but, I submit that they should talk with numerous members of the Louisiana Republican Party with whom I have discussed this issue.   Over the past four years, I do not know of one GOP member who has not been at least a little bit upset about the Governor’s focus upon his future career. 

And why shouldn’t  they be?  After all, the Governor wrote a book introducing himself to the nation.   We all know that the Governor has a local and national audience.  Just ask one of his high officials about this and I would be very surprised if that person can deny it with a straight face. 

So, with qualifying only weeks away, in my view, despite the odds of someone replacing the Governor, I believe we will have a race of some sort—the main card being Jindal versus Senator Marioneaux.

Yet, maybe, the real contest ought to be Jindal versus Jindal.

In other words, although the Governor has been running against President Obama and is now pushing his administration’s past performance over the airwaves, he is promoting “Jindal the Past”. 

And, what about “Jindal the Future”?

During the election season, when the Governor paints his future administration plans, I am wondering if he is willing to go on the record to say in definitive terms without any qualifiers or wiggle words--that he will stay in the Governor’s seat until he is replaced in four years or in 2016.

While some might think this is an unfair question to ask this Governor since all politicians look towards their next job, the truth is our current Governor has proven his national ambitions many times over during the Era of Jindal I .

In fact, months ago, one of our college students from LSU had to plead in a letter to a newspaper in a state where the Governor was appearing for a fundraiser.  The plea?  Please governor, please come home—this state is in a mess.

The Governor can tout his past administration accomplishments until the cows come home, the initial  query ought to be—will Governor Jindal promise to stay in the mansion over the next four years should he get re-elected?

For me, as far as this Governor’s candidacy goes, his canned statement that he has the job he wants is not good enough.  I want to make very certain that I can vote for a Governor who truly will make Louisiana his home. 

by Stephen Sabludowsky, Publisher of Bayoubuzz.com

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